Asana of the Month: Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. Contributed by Asana Girl (aka Danielle Polen)
 

According to yogajournal.com, “Vasistha literally means ‘most excellent, best, richest.’ Vasistha is the name of several well-known sages in the yoga tradition. There’s a Vasistha numbered among the seven (sometimes 10 or 12) seers (rishis) or lords of creation (prajapatis), and a Vasistha who’s author of a number of Vedic hymns. He’s also said to be the owner of the fabulous ‘cow of plenty,’ Nandini (delight), which grants his every wish and accounts for his infinite wealth.”

Vasisthasana is often used as a preparation for more challenging arm balances and can build arm and core strength quickly. However, it’s important to perform the pose with intelligent alignment and balanced effort so as not to injure your shoulders, elbows, or wrists.

Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Vasistha):

Vasistha = most excellent, best, richest

Benefits:
  • Strengthens the arms, abdominals, and legs 
  • Stretches and strengthens the wrists 
  • Improves balance
  • Prepares body (and mind) for more challenging arm balancing

Cautions/Contraindications:
  • Wrist, shoulder, or elbow injuries

Preparatory Poses:
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 
  • Plank Pose
  • Supta Padangusthasana (for the full version of Vasisthasana)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

The Thousandth and Tenth Day of the Human Totem Pole,” by Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band


 

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